The U.S. government is providing nearly $815 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Syria. This aid is not a pledge; our aid is at work on the ground every day in some of the most affected areas, including Aleppo, Dar’a, and Al Qusayr.
As part of this assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting more than 144 field hospitals, medical clinics, and medical points across Syria. The doctors, nurses, and other medical staff working in these facilities are on the front lines of the brutal conflict in Syria, and every day they are risking their lives to save lives.
Last week alone, a doctor and two medical staff were killed and a nurse and three medical staff were injured when mortars were dropped near their clinics in Homs and Rif Damascus. The week before, the medical staff who survived the clashes in Al Qusayr -- which killed one nurse, injured two staff, and left several others unaccounted for -- had divided up supplies from their destroyed clinics and were already treating patients in nearby towns.
Along with widespread destruction and violence in Syria, health facilities are being destroyed, and medical staff are being targeted. And yet doctors, nurses, and medical staff -- tireless heroes in this conflict -- have been quietly working at USAID-funded health facilities across Syria since February 2012. To date, USAID-supported medical teams have performed over 85,000 surgeries, treated hundreds of thousands of patients, and saved countless lives.
The teams who help provide medical supplies to health facilities continue their heroic efforts as well. In the midst of some of the heaviest fighting in Al Qusayr, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) working with USAID had to wait nearby for a week before they were able to deliver of life-saving medical supplies to a clinic on the front lines of the battle.
USAID medical programs in Syria provide medical supplies and equipment, pay doctors’ salaries, and train additional first responders and medical staff. Every day, U.S. humanitarian aid is saving lives in Syria.